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Wednesday, September 11, 2019


by Jacqueline Jules

Photo of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial by Mike Myers

Across the river in D.C., tourists
come from all over the country
to touch walls honoring
soldiers who died
in Vietnam, Korea,
Europe, and other places
far from American soil.

But here in this sacred place
built beside a structure
still standing in spite of attack,
I read the name of a three-year-old
seated on a plane with her parents
and older sister.

Here, water flows in shallow pools
as I walk with silent steps
between 184 benches
made of stainless steel and granite,
each one positioned to preserve
the last moments of someone
who died in a ball of fire
on a clear September morning.

Here, I stand beside
young trees planted in the hope
visitors will value their shade
as they come from all over
to remember the lives lost here,
not somewhere else, far away.

Jacqueline Jules is the author of the poetry chapbooks Field Trip to the Museum, Stronger Than Cleopatra, and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including TheNewVerse.News, The Rising Phoenix Review, What Rough Beast, Public Pool, Rise Up Review and Gargoyle.  She lives in Arlington, Virginia.